Meeting will discuss if Northampton’s mobility scooter hire service can be saved today

The Shopmobility scheme in Northampton wil cease in September, according to a statement on its Facebook page.
The Shopmobility scheme in Northampton wil cease in September, according to a statement on its Facebook page.

A crunch meeting today will see if a mobility scooter hire service in Northampton can be saved, after a funding drop made it financially un-viable.

Earlier this month, Shopmobility announced it would be closing from September 30 following another cut to the grant it received from Northampton Borough Council.

The service, run by the Northampton Door to Door Service offers cheap mobility scooter hire for from the Mayorhold car park.

The news it was to close launched a public outcry, when the mayoral number plate is worth £250,000.

The cut was called “nasty” and “disgraceful” during June’s full council meeting.

Today the borough council’s Disabled People’s Forum will hold a special meeting at he Guildhall to see if the service’s £11,000 funding gap can be made up.

Chairman of the forum, Councillor Phil Larratt, said; “We would like to see this service returned.

“It is a valued asset as far as the disabled community is concerned.

“It helps to bring disabled people into the town so we want to get everyone round the table to see what could be done.”

Shopmobility was told last April that the £22,000 it previously received from Northampton Borough Council’s Partnership Grant Fund (PGF) has been reduced to £11,000.

This year that grant was reduced again to £8,000.

The council’s cabinet member for community engagement, Councillor Anna King, is expected to be at the meeting today as well as trustees for Shopmobility.

“There may be other sources of funding , so we want to be able to point Shopmobility in the right direction,” Councillor Larratt added.

The meeting will take place in the Jeffrey Room of the Guildhall at 2pm.

A statement on Shopmobility’s Facebook page at the start of the month read: “In April a meeting was held regarding the future of Northampton Shopmobility following the reduction in our Northampton Borough Council grant.

“Unfortunately we did not find any way of making these cuts up.”